Remembering Michael Jackson with Oliver Wang & Jay Smooth: The Sound of Young America Podcast

Michael Jackson
Oliver Wang
Jay Smooth

Oliver Wang and Jay Smooth join Jesse to talk about the life and music of Michael Jackson.



Thanks for this; I really enjoyed this discussion.

He's all just one man

I'm really not feeling that comment about how he has already died several times. Maybe it's just because I never gave up on him all the way, and always felt like he was about to make his big comeback. it's like someone said to me that the Michael I was sad about died many years ago. No, that eccentric with the fucked up nose is my hero from the Beat it video and I'm sad as all hell about his passing.

Peep my tribute in cartoon form:


get some people who actually know about michael
michael isn't a songwriter? gtfohwtbs

off the wall - don't stop till you get eough, workin day and night
thriller - majority (including billie jean)
pretty much everything after the bad album

disgustingly reductive comment and ignorant, dude admitted he needs to do his research on what michael was involved in - so why not do the research instead of pretending like you know what the fuck you're talking about

Apologies if I wasn't clear

Apologies if I wasn't clear about this point, was thinking out loud while just beginning to process everything his death brings up for me.

I love and study MJ and am very aware and reverent of his songwriting work on those albums. In the discussion on our radio show Saturday I stressed how his role in shaping Off The Wall and Thriller (and the late J5 stuff that preceded it) is too often forgotten, as detailed brilliantly by my old friend Scorpion here. If I had it to do over again I would've definitely stressed those demo versions Scorp alludes to, they're amazing to hear both for their insight into Michael's creative process & just for the raw intensity of their funk.

I didn't say he wasn't a songwriter, and wasn't saying his songwriting isn't great. I was saying it's not his greatest strength.

His songwriting, and his role in shaping those classic records were indeed superb and underrated. I think we can honor that while also acknowledging how those gifts were overshadowed by his (miraculously) even greater gifts as a performer, both in the studio and on stage & video. And how this leads the public to perceive him as a different sort of artist than Prince or Stevie, whose roles as composers/arrangers/producers/multi-instrumentalists have always remained at the forefront of their public image.